FOOD ALLERGY: AN OVERVIEW
The immune system protects our body against pathogens and other foreign substances by producing a kind of glycoprotein known as immunoglobulin or antibodies from plasma cells or B-cells. Surveys show that about one-third of all adults believe they have food allergies. About 4-8% percent of young children are diagnosed with food allergies, most of which are evident in the first years of life and are often outgrown. A food allergy is any adverse reaction to an otherwise harmless food or food component that involves the bodyâ€™s immune system. In others words, a food allergy is an immune system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Components of a food that trigger the immune system are called food allergens. Cowsâ€™ milk allergy appears to be among the more prevalent food allergies in infants. Eggs and peanuts are also common allergenic foods for infants, along with soybeans, tree nuts, fish, and wheat. Seafood allergies, especially to crustaceans (shrimp, crab, lobster) are also rather common among adults. The present review provides brief information about food allergy and allergic reactions, their types, symptoms and approaches for reduction.
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